FAQ: Transferring and storing your reproductive specimens with ReproTech – oocytes, embryos, sperm, ovarian/testicular tissues

Updated April 2024
By: ReproTech

Are you new to ReproTech? You’re in the right place if you want to learn more about transferring and storing your reproductive specimens with us. This FAQ covers the transfer process of your precious specimens to ReproTech.

Transferring Specimens to ReproTech

How does ReproTech ensure the integrity of its shipping tanks?

  • Our tanks are used for five years and then disposed of, regardless of hold time.
  • They’re validated annually and removed from the fleet if they don’t maintain nitrogen hold time requirements.
  • Tanks are protected with a liquid nitrogen fill while onsite at ReproTech – doing so reduces stress on the tanks by avoiding temperature changes.

How does ReproTech protect my reproductive tissues in transit? 

  • Our “dry shipper” tank maintains an optimal temperature, preserving specimens during transit.
  • FDA-approved Cryoguard thermal indicators installed on all cryotanks verify the correct temperature during shipment.
  • Each mushroom shipper has a proprietary lock.
  • Custom Secure Tight seals, with serial numbers, are on the outside container and the shipping tank lid.
  • ReproTech tags each shipper with our own GPS tracker, adding an additional layer of monitoring.
    blue, mushroom-shaped dry shipper which protects cryo tanks during shipment of human reproductive tissues

Who is transporting my specimens from ReproTech?

  • For non-local shipments, we use critical healthcare-level service, UPS Premier Healthcare, for specimen shipments. Safety specifications of this service include:
    • Priority handling of our shipments.
    • Enhanced sensor-based visibility while in transit.
    • Live 24/7 location monitoring.
    • Professionals are readily available for specimen recovery in case of rare transfer interruption. 
  • Local courier services deliver within the metro area of a ReproTech facility. Pricing is dependent on the courier company and distance to the clinic. You can call or email us for a quote.

Storing Your Reproductive Specimens with ReproTech

How do you begin? This is how to get started with transferring and storing your reproductive specimens at ReproTech: 

  1. Complete ReproTech forms to open an account and authorize the transfer to one of our facilities.
  2. Provide infectious disease test results for HIV 1 & 2 (AIDS), Hepatitis B, and C. These tests are often done at your fertility clinic.
  3. Prepay fees for the transfer and storage. Pay by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express.
  4. ReproTech will contact your clinic to arrange for the transfer.
    • We recommend splitting specimens stored in more than one straw/vial between two shipping tanks; this adds a layer of safety.
    • We offer Specimen Shipping Liability Protection at an additional cost.

Which ReproTech site will cryostore my reproductive tissues?

We provide regional storage for our partner clinics with five sites strategically located across the U.S. (NV, TX, MN, FL, CT). For example, if you live in Washington, your specimens would come to our ReproTech Nevada location. You can reside in a different state than one of our storage sites to store with us. If you move and must choose a different fertility clinic to continue treatment, you can contact ReproTech for further assistance. Find out where your regional facility is located.

This United States map shows the locations of ReproTech cryostorage facilities which are in Nevada, Texas, Minnesota, Florida and Connecticut

ReproTech has specialized in long-term cryostorage of human reproductive tissues (embryos, oocytes, semen, testicular/ovarian tissues) for 33+ years.

ReproTech Presents Study on
Safe Cryogenic Shipping

ReproTech, Ltd. Presents Study on Important Considerations for Safe Cryogenic Shipping

PRESS RELEASE: St. Paul, MN, October 29, 2020 –(PR.com)– ReproTech, Ltd. was honored to present an oral abstract at the virtual American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) 2020 Scientific Congress and Expo that resulted from a study designed by authors, W. Brent Hazelrigg, President and CEO; and Amy Erickson Hagen, Vice President of Quality Assurance and Special Projects.

Cryogenic shipping containers (cryoshippers) are used every day to safely transport reproductive tissue specimens between clinics and storage facilities. Within the walls of a cryoshipper, absorbent material holds liquid nitrogen to provide a cryogenic vapor environment with a temperature of -196° Celsius. Cryoshippers are typically housed inside protective shipping enclosures with rounded lids (resembling a mushroom) that encourage carriers to maintain an upright orientation when handling.The abstract, entitled, “Upright, Upside Down, Sideways – Effects of Orientation of Vapor Shippers and Data Loggers on Hold Time,” sought to determine if cryoshippers would maintain safe cryogenic temperatures (hold times) if they were not kept in the upright position per manufacturer recommendations.

“We wanted to look at the manufacturer stated normal evaporation rates (NERs) and hold times for two models of cryoshippers and compared that with preventative maintenance records using the same type of shippers. The shippers were positioned upright, upside down and sideways to simulate how they could be handled by a commercial transport carrier,” stated Amy Erickson Hagen.

The study showed that regardless of orientation, cryoshippers can complete a round trip, shipping out from a cryostorage facility, to a clinic, and back, within one business week. During this process, the cryoshipper still maintains the proper temperature for cryopreserved specimens.

When analyzing the data, it was observed that upside down is the worst orientation and shippers kept in this position had significantly lower hold times.

“Surprisingly, the results showed that using data loggers dramatically decreases the hold time due to a heat wick effect from the temperature probe wire, which transferred heat from the ambient air into the shipper,” commented Brent Hazelrigg. It should be noted that ReproTech used data loggers for this experiment but does not use them as part of their standard shipping protocols. ReproTech instead uses thermal exposure indicators called “Cryoguard M-150s” which are placed inside the cryoshippers with no external wiring, thus eliminating a heat wick effect.

ReproTech invites you to read the full abstract and review the NER and hold times for each scenario on the “Fertility & Sterility” website.

ReproTech, Ltd. specializes in long-term cryostorage and safe transportation of reproductive tissues. In 2020, ReproTech is celebrating its 30-year anniversary as the Cryostorage Leader in the United States with four regional locations in St. Paul, MN; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Reno, NV; and Dallas/Fort Worth, TX. ReproTech’s proven protocols, 24/7 tank monitoring with data analysis, and disaster safe rooms provide peace of mind to patients. ReproTech’s Auto Transfer Management and Fertility Preservation Network Programs offer offsite storage solutions to fertility clinics to automatically transfer specimens to a storage center by pre-consenting all patients, thus eliminating unclaimed specimens.